January "In The Grow" - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

January “In The Grow”

Q. I have one persimmon tree that hasn’t produced any fruit yet. How old does a tree have to be before doing so? Do I need to have more than one tree in order to produce persimmons? – Dennis Stutler, Batesville, Ind.

A. Persimmons are dioecious, which means male and female flowers are on separate plants. You need a male and female plant to produce fruit. You really can’t tell a male from a female persimmon until it blooms. The female flower is usually single while the male flowers typically hang in clusters of three. The female flower is also about three times larger than the male.

You can purchase plants with a known gender from Mellingers in Lima, Ohio, (330-549-9861) or Henry Fields in Shenandoah, Iowa, (605-665-4491).

Q. Can you tell me how to get rid of all of the ground ivy next to our garden? – C.J. Meyer, Greensburg, Ind.

A. Ground ivy, also called creeping Charlie, can be controlled with glyphosate, sold as Round-up or Kleen-up; however, use it with caution because it kills anything green that it touches. Glyphosate can only be used in non-planted areas.

Ground ivy in grass can be treated with 2, 4-D to selectively remove broad-leaved weeds from turf, but, again, be careful. Drifting or misdirected herbicide can damage desirable broad-leaved plants. Read and follow label instructions.

Q. How do I rid iris rhizomes from iris borer? Can I spray with a pesticide? – Phyllis Johnson, Twelve Mile, Ind.

A. Iris borers are easiest to diagnose by actually looking at the rhizome itself for holes. Borers are pink, 1-2 inches long and found inside the rhizome. The foliage may have dark streaks, water-soaked spots and ragged edges. Control borers by cleaning up all plant debris throughout the year.

Dust the tops of the rhizomes with carbaryl or malathion weekly from the time first growth starts until the beginning of June. During May and June, squeeze the leaves where you see damage to the foliage to kill borers inside. In July or August, when you lift and divide rhizomes, dust the rhizomes completely with carbaryl. Discard any heavily infested rhizomes. When using pesticides, always make sure that you identify the problem correctly, choose an appropriate pesticide and follow label directions.

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